If Ann Coulter is going to dictate the policies of the Trump administration, then maybe she should just run for office herself.
That was the—seemingly sarcastic—suggestion from former Republican governor and father of the White House press secretary, Mike Huckabee, during an appearance on Brian Kilmeade’s Fox News Radio show on Monday.
As Kilmeade pointed out, before Trump had even made his latest non-starter of a proposal to fund his wall and reopen the government over the weekend, Coulter was attacking him on Twitter for supposedly offering “amnesty” to DREAMers. “We voted for Trump and got Jeb!” the right-wing commentator and author of In Trump We Trust, wrote, adding, “100 miles of border wall in exchange for amnestying millions of illegals. So if we grant citizenship to a BILLION foreigners, maybe we can finally get a full border wall.”
Even as he called Coulter an “original thinker” whom he “really likes,” Kilmeade said, “You can't govern just for conservatives, so how does the president win here?”
“Well first of all, Ann Coulter, if she's got the way to get it done then let her run for office,” Huckabee replied. “She's never done that. So she's never had to be in the position of having to sit down and work through something to a solution. I have and the president's in that position. And you're not going to get everything you want.”
He then misquoted “those great political scientists of all time, The Rolling Stones” by telling Coulter and Trump, “You don't always get what you want” and urging the president to make some “concessions” on those undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents.
It’s a debate Huckabee has been having with Coulter for nearly a decade. On a 2010 episode of his since-canceled Fox News show, Huckabee argued that the U.S. shouldn’t “punish the children of an illegal because the parents did something when the kid was three or four years-old.” In response, Coulter accused him of being a “liberal Christian.” It was not meant as a compliment.
Asked by Kilmeade why Trump “cares so much what Ann Coulter thinks,” Huckabee replied, “Well, I know he doesn't want people to go out and try to stir up his base against him. And I'm not sure why she would, because she's got to deep down know that he can't just be arbitrary.”
“He's not a dictator, he's a president, he's got to work within the confines of getting something through two houses of Congress,” he continued. “One where he doesn't have 60 votes to beat the filibuster and the other where Nancy Pelosi is in charge. Anything he gets done is going to be miraculous.”
Calling Trump’s latest offer to Democrats “incredibly generous, very responsible and very well-balanced,” Huckabee urged Republicans to “suck it up and say, this is not what I want but it's better than having nothing. And it's certainly better than having a closed government and an open border.”
Of course, even if Trump’s base supported his offer, it would still be dead in the water with Democrats, who have held firm that they are only interested in discussing an immigration compromise with the government open.